Happy Guilt

Wildcard and I have a verbal dance. Not being a dancer, I can’t complete this analogy properly but will say it is tango-esque.

He’s a joker, a teaser. Making me laugh for hours and hours is one of the ways he has consistently showed me his love this past few years. He delights in it.

Occasionally though, he will say something a little to the left of laughter…or, more likely, my mood will not see the humour in it. I’ve observed this trigger and know that it’s entirely to do with my fear of losing him and of not being good enough. We then begin our dance of tooing and froing…of empassioned pauses and fast turns, emotional filled, shocking and tense.

Last night’s gem isn’t hard to qualify as I was clearly in that mood yesterday as you can see from my post. I was feeling fear and doubt.

After writing that post, he called as usual, and I tried very hard to raise my positive energy and cast away my fears for another day. And I succeeded at first.

He then made a joke. It was a common one, something he says regularly- daily, even. It’s a joke which I laugh at, accept, feel warmth about 98% of the time.

Today though, I followed up with a question…

And he, as usual, continued his joke. No, he didn’t think of me that way. It didn’t even enter his mind.

The dance stops dead. The female lead freezes and stares at the male.

I was triggered. My mind shifted out of our usual joking – the joke we had had every day – into new territory. It side stepped into a new beat.

I questioned again, digging, clarifying…emotions overriding common sense. At this point, I’m glazed over, mind racing. There’s a lump in my throat and I feel the too-familiar tingle of tears in my eyes.

She spins and turns away….he stalks towards her.

He’s not oblivious. He knows that I’ve entered the dance, stamped my feet and sauntered away. He, of course, chooses to dance.

He questions me – why am I crying.

I reply, I’m not. I’ve managed to stop it.

He retorts, you haven’t. You look like you will explode.

The dance continues.

So I ask again, you really don’t think of me that way?

Yes, he says finally with humour and depth and truth in this eyes. I think.

At that moment she relents and is swept into his arms in a final montage of love.

He says I’m stupid, of course, with humour. Why would he be with me if he didn’t think like that? Why do I ask these questions when I know the answers? Indeed, why do I? The voice of sense is in my head…she sits there smug, knowing the truth but watches as my inner imposter takes the lead for a spell.

This morning I called him when I woke. He was in a good mood and as we greeted each other, he gave a huge grin and was chuckling to himself as he did something on the phone.

“Why are you laughing?”

“Nothing.”

This of course makes me nervous. My brain goes into overdrive- what …or who…was he laughing at? Was he speaking to someone else when I called? Have they sent him something?

“Why are you nervous?” He asks.

“I’m not.”

“You are. Why are you nervous?”

“What were you laughing at?”

“I’ve sent you something. You haven’t seen it yet.”

Oh. So when he was laughing and doing something on his phone, he was actually sending me something. Oh.

I look at my phone and he’s sent a series of photos and I gasp and put my hand to my face and then laugh with him. At first, I don’t remember him taking them but eventually the memory breaks.

The photos are intimate but in an innocent way. We are in bed together and it was one morning when I was there. In the photos he is shirtless (it was the height of summer) and I am wearing a vest top but we are cuddling: with him looking at the camera and me with my head against his chest. Intimate, innocent, but kind of sexy. In the first of them, the angle isn’t great as I look at the camera too, and it’s not very flattering for me, and I remember telling him I didn’t like the photo so I moved to rest my head against his chest and closed my eyes. In the others, it’s recorded a loving moment and I hadn’t remembered or realised he’d taken so many.

There’s been a few times I’ve thought I’ve caught him taking surreptitious photos when I’ve been reading or when I was crying at the airport, saying bye to his mum, and I’ve just gone along with what I was doing- if he wants candid photos, let him. I take them often enough. But I’d forgotten this moment, and in its intimacy I realised once again that he loved me when he took them and he loved me enough this morning to have been looking at them before I called. So, yes, he does think about me in that and every other way.

I ended the call in happy guilt. Guilt that my mind jumps to the negative, so quick to allow my inner demons to cloud my judgement. Happy that he has proved again that he loves me and wants me.

About an hour later he called again, this time in his car. He was waiting for his parents as they were travelling to see family for a special event. He looked jaw-droppingly good. I asked to see what he was wearing and he panned out, a little reluctantly.

I told him he looked delicious, and he said he’d brought the blazer jacket I had bought him some time ago.

“Is that the jumper I bought you too?”

“Yes,” as he moved the camera to show me again and I glimpsed the ring I made him and the watch I bought.

“Baby! It’s like I’m there with you!”

He smiled shyly and looked to the side – the gesture he makes when he’s showing his true emotions. He laughed a little, and showed me his footwear – which I’d also bought him. 😍

“Oh baby, I’m there with you, hugging you with the jacket and jumper and ring and watch and the shoes!”

We both laughed and smiled at each other and then his parents got into the car.

As we ended the call, I thought about the fact that today, he had surrounded himself with many the things I have bought for him over the past three years. He didn’t need to – he has other things he could wear that I haven’t bought. But he chose to.

Now, I’m just happy. 🥰

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Defining the dream

I haven’t written half as much as I wanted or probably needed to, about my last trip to see Wildcard. In summary….it was wonderful but challenging.

At times I felt so loved and cherished- not just by him but also by his family. I felt so much love from them and for them. I was happy and content.

At times, I felt confused. I felt like I wasn’t sure how he felt about me, what was happening.

Once again, there was no conversation about our future. There was no proposal. I half expected this, but I can’t pretend there wasn’t hope somewhere.

I came home frustrated with myself for my conflicting feelings. I came home disappointed that he hadn’t committed.

A few days ago, I told him I had posted a parcel out – the photobook of our little holiday with his parents, and some other little gifts. He asked why I had posted them, and I replied: because I don’t know when I’m coming next – do you?

He then did his typical thing. He joked. He told me “next year”. I did my typical of not being sure if he was serious, and became distant. At this point, he told me he was joking and that I could come when I want, as long as it didn’t coincide with his brothers coming (which I wholeheartedly understand).

It had unsettled me though, a little. Because it was clear that he still has no concrete plan for commitment.

This was brought up with my sister and we had a long conversation. She said my family had expected me to come home engaged. We discussed this. I told her that neither of us were in the position to do this – I needed to sort my career, finances and house. He needed to secure his parents and wait for his brothers to be in a position to help. When I said I would give him one more year, she surprised me by asking why I would put a limit on, if he was all I wanted?

Good point.

Because, as my London friend commented: I don’t want to wait for him, only for him to change his mind at some point in the future. I am TERRIFIED of this.

Waiting for it is not helping me. I’m anxious and clingy. I’m needy and demanding. It’s not the waiting but the uncertainty.

I truly believe that he thinks all is well. His actions would suggest that he believes me to be his wife and when the right time comes, it will be made official and he will move here.

The problem, of course, is that my life has undergone a massive upheaval is the last 18 months. The upheaval isn’t over yet. Most of this is completely outside of him and his control. THAT, I need to accept.

I’ve been unable to truly determine what I want from my life for a long, long time. I had once achieved all I wanted. Yet, I wasn’t happy. Most of that has now changed or disappeared. All I know now, is that I want him.

What does that actually mean?

Finally, finally, I’ve allowed myself to truly think about that. I’ve made myself daydream about a weekend in the life with him. I felt it as I wrote…every touch, laugh and look. You can find it here:

https://startingfromthemiddleblog.wordpress.com/2022/08/14/dare-to-dream/

I can’t coast any longer. I’ve made one decision- about my career – and whilst I’m not sure it is the right one, I’ve made a plan. This daydream was about my love life and my family life. It’s something I haven’t dared to do for a long time out-of fear.

I’ve started to analyse it. In my next post, you’ll hear what I think this all means.

Lost in…

The day of my departure.

I’m packed and ready to go. I was determined to not be an over anxious mess this time. Not sure how successful I’ve been.

Last night I just felt numb. I was quiet and brooding though I tried not to be. Part of me was sulking too I guess. It was my last night there and I wanted something. When I was a child, the last night of a holiday was always a big deal. You’d go out for a meal or go somewhere special to mark the end of a great trip – go out with a bang I should say. It’s not that I wanted or needed to go out. I think I just wanted some recognition.

I suppose I need to remember that Wildcard may not see things that way. From what I gather, his experiences of holidays have been camping for the summer in his family’s village. He told me that as he and his brothers got older, they hated going. Not quite the same then.

But then, I guess I want to see that he is feeling it too – she’s going home, I’m going to miss her. Let’s make the most of it. But there was nothing to mark this. After sitting in the lounge for a while whilst he continued with his usual routine – the occasional ‘Are you ok?’ ‘What’s wrong?’ punctuating the silence, I got up and went to my room, heart heavy and soul weary.

He shouted me and I ignored him. I had no energy to answer and I didn’t want to talk about it. Childish? Probably. I couldn’t help it – in my head he should feel the same and I shouldn’t have to explain everything.

Before long though he came to the room. He asked again what was wrong and then lay with me, his legs claiming me. He smacked my bottom occasionally. Tickled me a few times. In that way he was trying.

We were shouted for tea and apparently his mum noticed I wasn’t myself. I hate that, I tried to act normal, but that heavy feeling inside is hard to overcome.

And of course it is wrapped up in a multitude of other feelings. Fear he doesn’t reciprocate. Guilt over my children. Worry that we may split up and I never come back. Wonder that he still hasn’t made us official. Anger that I’m torturing myself again.

We drank our tea, said goodnight to his parents and I got ready for bed. When I went into my room he was stood at the window and I went to stand with him. He kissed my cheek and my forehead and I rested my head on his shoulder. We cuddled a little on the bed and he gently kissed every part of my face. But when he told me he was going to bed as he was tired, I couldn’t help the tears.

And I couldn’t explain. When he left me that night, my trip was over. I didn’t want him to leave. It’s not that I wanted sex (although I would never say no to him), I just didn’t want him to leave me. I managed to explain enough that I didn’t want him to go and I wanted him to be near, and could he stay just a little longer? So we talked a little and we cuddled and we kissed and eventually I had calmed enough to tell him to go to bed. Prioritising me enough not to go to bed when he was tired said enough to appease me.

He messaged not long after, telling me not to be sad and that he loved me. And with that I fell asleep.

At some time in the night I heard movement outside my room. I’m a light sleeper mostly, so anyone venturing to the bathroom will wake me. To my surprise, Wildcard came to my door. He’d had a bad dream about his Grandmother and couldn’t sleep. He came in, shut the blinds and cuddled up to me. We slept together for the rest of the night although neither of us sleeps well with someone else in the bed. It was magical though, and something we haven’t done since my very first trip in Feb 2019. I sent a thank you to his Grandmother. I have dreamed of her once too as she beckoned me to into her family, and I have no doubts that she had done this.

In the morning there was love and passionate and affection. Then he went to work, leaving me to shower and pack.

I started shaking about an hour after he left. I felt calmer than last time but the anxiety was coming from within my body, not my mind. His mother asked me for help and as I sat with her, I told her that I felt nervous. She asked me why and I started to weep. I couldn’t help it. She asked me again and so I told her.

‘I don’t want to leave Wildcard.’

She looked at me, confused, and asked me to repeat. I said it again but she still didn’t understand so she asked me to translate on my phone.

She then understood and told me not to be sad and she was sorry. She asked me if I loved him and I told her, yes a lot. So now she knows.

Later, once I was calm again. She told me that she had misunderstood me at first, and thought I had said ‘ I don’t want to live with Wildcard’. We laughed for ten minutes straight over that one and I felt better after it.

He came home from work and we all ate dinner before Wildcard and I lay on his bed and just cuddled. I may have wept a little.

At the airport he sat with me for nearly 45 minutes until it was time to drop my bag. I told him to go, but he didn’t.

I’m lost in him. I’m lost without him. I don’t know when I’m going back. I’m just…lost.

4am

Good morning!

I’m sat in the departure lounge. My flight leaves in two hours and I haven’t slept yet. I probably should have done and I’m regretting sitting down. I now feel really sleepy.

Travelling alone, I can’t risk having a sneaky sleep. I feel vulnerable and I’m scared I will miss my flight. But I really, really want to. The mask weirdly makes me feel even more tired. Looking around, no one else is sleeping either, even the ones in groups. Do they feel like me?

I can’t wait to see Wildcard. We had a tricky month after my last trip but things have been great since. I’m determined to be positive and confident and not worry about the future. I’m just going to enjoy the here and now. That’s all we truly have, isn’t it?

I wanted Wildcard to show some excitement about my coming but he didn’t. That doesn’t mean he isn’t. He just doesn’t declare it openly like me and I have accepted that. Sometimes, even now after nearly two years, some of his joking sends a pang of fire through my veins. It’s too easy to worry. I know I’m too sensitive and I wish I wasn’t, but then isn’t that just who I am?

It’s nearly 5am now. I wasted a bit of time walking around. The airport is getting busy now. I’m waiting for my gate number (which I’m informed is in 15 minutes). I’ve had an unpleasant incident at one of the restaurants here – giving me a disclaimer where they clearly state they fry gluten free food with all other food that is not gluten free and they couldn’t get me out of there quick enough.

I can’t wait to be sat on the plane as it means I am a step closer to him: that feeling of comfort and ease when I am close to him. And not overthinking of course.

Birthday balloon.

I’m in bed. I’ve had enough already and it is only 3pm.

I want my mum. I want my dad.

My sisters asked me to call round for a coffee in the garden before I went to collect my daughter. I then collected her and due wanted to come back with me. We had lunch. My sandwich was delicious but now I feel like a balloon. I never eat that much bread, gluten free or not. My sister arrived with food for later. She ranted about the supermarket. I had to get money out for something being delivered.

I want peace

Despite this morning’s intimacy, Wildcard has not sent anything. I usually get an e-card or a video or a picture but there has been nothing. It is his words I am craving. His love. I need to feel loved and wanted.

His country has definitely closed borders for another month, probably to cover Ramadan I guess. Some people think it will be June.

I just feel meh.

The justification of tears

I need to step away. Not because I love him any less, but because I can’t love him more.

Another call which ends in tears.

Tonight we laughed, and I mean laughed, at a stupid present I bought him. And it was stupid, there is no doubt about that.

So why did I cry?

Because he asked me why I wanted to send it. It was a rhetorical question – part of our shared joke. But the truth slammed into me.

I wanted to send it because I love him. Because I want to show him how much I love him. Because I want him to be happy.

How can my tears be making him happy? They can’t and they don’t.

Here is the simple truth behind every tear…

I’m nothing special. His previous girlfriends sent him presents. His previous girlfiends loved him passionately, just like me, and still do.

I’m no different than the others. Except…

I’m far, far away. I can’t kiss him gently to show my love. I can’t make him breakfast or go on long hand-held walks, sharing life. I can’t plan for our future because I don’t know how long that future will be. I can’t be there for him, physically, when things get tough.

I cry when I miss him. I cry when I’m disappointed I can’t see him. I cry when I think he can never love me like I love him. I cry when I think that one day, he is going to see I’m nothing special. I cry when each one of those girls try to get him back.

My philosophy in life has always been: if you work hard you can achieve. I am where I am through sheer hard work.

I can’t work any harder to show him my love, to show him that I am worth loving. Hard work can’t make me special.

I’m powerless. And so I cry.

Should I walk away? Give up now?

Are my tears, however justified, acid that is eroding his love and respect for me? The respect for myself?

I want him to be happy, more than anything. I want him to have a life filled with love and happiness. And no matter how hard I try, I don’t think I am enough. Because I can’t stand out. I can’t be any better than anyone else, because I am not.

An average girl, loving in an above average way. Love is not enough.

He told me that I am better than him because I try. All the gestures I make. He knows I love him. And he is happy.

I’m tired of Facebook and its LDRs. I’m tired of the success stories. I’m tired of the weddings. And now, as the months roll on, I’m scared of the failures and the break ups that appear daily.

But I’m scared of walking away. Giving up is not in my DNA, not without hard work. Not without an 100% conviction that I cannot do any more.

And so I cry because I don’t know what else to do.

But then, I think it is only fair to add that this is not the first time I have cried today or even nearly cried.

I nearly cried when my sister asked to borrow money again. Is that all I am good for?

I cried when my ex husband asked to borrow money again. He pays me nothing for the children. I will be, for the fourth year, buying all the Christmas and birthday presents again. And now he needs to borrow money.

I nearly cried when my boyfriend told me that the girl who keeps messaging him, despite him often ignoring said texts, told him that she loves him. He told her she was just a friend to him. He didn’t tell her about me. Yes, I know it is not his culture to have girlfriends. Yes, I know he is a very private person and doesn’t want a relative stranger to know his business. But it still hurt.

I nearly cried when I found out that my mum has visited my sister (in her bubble) and not me. Mum will drop presents off for all at my sister’s house this Christmas but won’t come to me.

I cried when my daughter stopped talking to me and only started again when she thought I was buying McDonald’s. I cried when my autistic son refused to eat his because they put cheese on even though we asked for it not to be on. I cried because apparently it was my fault when all I have done today is try to make him happy.

I cried as I walked home. I cried because I’m tired. I cried because I just want to be loved. I want to feel appreciated. I want my best to be good enough. And you know what? I want someone to do their best for me because I am worth that. I want to be important to someone and I feel important to no-one.

Oh, and I miss my dad.

Enlightened – again

Wild Card and I have been talking/together for nearly eight months now.  As long distance relationships go, I don’t know if this is a long time or not. However, there’s still a lot to learn about each other.

We both seem to like our routines and when something changes, we seem to naturally fall into a new one. Recently, the lockdown has been lifted in his city. He’s started going out walking again and his new thing is to call me as he walks. I like it.

I like it because his voice is so goddam sexy and not being distracted by his face, I hear his voice better – the accent, the tone etc.

But, I also like it, because I’ve realised that he is a little more open with me verbally without the video. Recently, he has said a few things over the phone that have indicated how serious he is about me – talking about our future together, plans for holidays etc.

Last night, was a little more sombre of a phonecall. He’d had a bad day all round, but it was topped off by a call from an ex-girlfriend. (Again, this is the second one. Believe me, I know how wonderful he is but even so…)

I was proud of how calm I was. I was pleased he wanted to talk about it. I was happy that he opened up about his past with her. I listened, I consoled.

Perhaps more importantly, I learned.

He was with her for nearly two years. They didn’t have sex because he was respectful of her age and culture. She never met his parents though she attempted to weasel her way to meeting his mum (he was not happy about that).

He ended the relationship because she was overly dramatic, jealous and demanding. He knew she loved him, but she made him anxious and wary. She wanted to be on the phone all the time. She questioned his every move and manipulated situations so that she could imprint herself into his life – his mother, contacting a work colleague or Facebook friends. She constantly talked about marriage with him although he had told her it would not come to that.

So, what have I learned?

Well, I suppose how serious he is/was about me. He has talked about a future with me. He introduced me to his parents relatively early on and I have of course stayed with them when I visited in February – I talk to them fairly regularly now. Wild Card and I have had an intimate, sexual relationship. (I’m trying not to think about the respect thing here, but it was mutually wanted so.. Yeah.)

He has told me he is happy with me, that he loves everything about me. Most of the time, we laugh and we enjoy each other’s company.

But – isn’t there always one – I can see some things that I do or have done that could upset the apple cart.

I’ve got to get a handle on my insecurity and occasional jealousy. He’s been patient so far, but it’s quite clear from what I heard tonight that his patience is not endless. I don’t blame him for that.

He didn’t tell me these things other than to off-load about a girl who keeps contacting him and who he doesn’t want to be with – he made that very clear. I’m glad he felt he could discuss this with me. However, I could see some… Similarities in our behaviour. That has concerned me.

Without a doubt, the past few months have been very, very tricky for everyone. Corona has played a big part in the start of our relationship: our moods and anxieties, our social lives and the ability to see each other.

Then there are the other facets of life and a long distance relationship that have also had an impact.

We’ve survived this far. Most of the time, things are great. Occasionally they are not. Sometimes we are both at fault, often my insecurity and fear acerbate the situation. Whilst he always forgives me and tells me not to worry, there is always a shift in his behaviour for a little while after. I don’t know if I am the same or not.

He’s going through some difficult times too at the moment which are not helping.

Last night reminded me, once again, yet again, again and again… I need to relax. I need to remind him of the woman he loves. I need to have faith and trust.

So, I am digging myself out, clawing myself out of the dark in the hope that he will still be in the light when I emerge.

Hairline

Day two of sulking went better than I thought it would.

After posting my blog yesterday morning, I had real think about everything I had said and had written. I decided that if I was right then he needed more love, not less. He needed honesty.

So I sent my morning text, as usual, but I also told him that I had been thinking about him all morning which was true. But not something I would necessarily tell him, normally.

I got a smile in response and so I called him, not knowing if he was continuing the call ban from yesterday. He was still in bed, sleepy eyed, but we chatted and went through our routine. He was still quiet but I expected that.

As usual, the call ended as he got to work and I was happy with the nearly return to normal. So far so good. Patience and kindness is the way forward.

Not fifteen minutes later, he surprised me by calling. There had been an issue at work and he was on his way home. I was pleased he had called me and shared the problem. When he got home however, he was a little snippy and the call ended a little abruptly. But, considering the previous few days and the morning he had just had, I swallowed down my irrational fears and comforted myself with the fact that the morning had gone better than expected.

Early afternoon, I was doing some reading when I had an unexpected epiphany moment. Everything slotted into place: my anxiety, my behaviour. Things that I couldn’t understand. It’s like the muddle of emotions and thoughts and fears clarified so I could see the way forward. I love it when that happens.

I’ve realised that I am not being true to myself in this relationship, not all the time anyway. I try to hide some of my vulnerability: I hide my thoughts and feelings sometimes, or at least try to. I lie. And those things are not who I am. I’m honest to the point of being blunt. I don’t lie. And with those close to me, I openly share my feelings.

So, it figures, that if I’m not being true to myself, this is causing anxiety. It’s adding to my fear of losing him because I’m not showing my true self and I’m hiding things which then make him anxious. My anxiety and fear then builds to the point that I do something stupid which then causes further insecurity for him.

For him to love me, I have to be myself, vulnerable and honest and all. If I’m not myself then he’s not loving me, he’s loving something false. If I’m more honest I will be calmer. And if I’m calmer there will be less anxiety and less screw ups and definitely less drama. Annoyingly, these are things he has said to me already.

Around 3pm, I took the plunge and called him. I felt nervous but I had to say this stuff, get it off my chest. I changed my mind the moment he answered and was about to end the call but he asked me to tell him what was on my mind, so I went for it.

I could see that he appreciated my honesty and openness. He denied there was a problem still and he said he had no problem with me. He wanted clarification on the times where I had hidden some feelings and thoughts. In the end he said he was happy with my decision simply because I was happy with it. And he certainly seemed happier.

Later on I got a phonecall and he initiated both videochats too – everything was back to normal. The last call involved him once again making me laugh and my children got in on the joke, drawn to the sound of my persistent laughter.

This morning he called again and seems much more like himself. So, maybe the crack is hairline and nothing that a bit of reglazing will sort.

Breaking a plate.

John Lewis

I really wish I had published my last post. In it, I wrote down a conversation I had with my boyfriend. He said something so romantic and poignant that I felt blissfully happy.

Disappointingly, I have to report that we have met another bump in the road. A week after the last one.

My experience of relationships is that there are stages where things seem to go wrong and this is often when they tend to end. Around the three/four month mark seems to be a common one – when the lust and honeymoon period end and you realise that actually, this person isn’t right for you. Sometimes around six months. Then around two years – this is usually when one partner wants more commitment than the other is willing to give.

I’m hoping, with all my heart, that we overcome this six month bump in the road.

There are some factors that are having a real impact on our relationship. One, is that long distance relationships are not easy, not easy for anyone. Take all the usual insecurities and anxiety you feel in a new relationship and double it, triple it and you’re somewhere close. Of course, when you really love that person and feel that connection, no problem is insurmountable.

Two is the fact that I was unable to make my second trip to see him in April. I think this would have consolidated things for both of us, either way. I think, if it had gone as well as we both expected, we would have both felt more confident about our feelings and our future together. Instead it’s deepened the missing, added to the anxiety of the unknown.

Three, is coronavirus. Not only did this stop my visit, it’s potentially going to prevent a future one for sometime. It’s meant that we are both in lock down and whilst that initially meant we have more time to talk to one another, there is nothing to talk about. So you want to be together but there are silences. Most of those time we accept those silences because we just want to be in each other’s company. Sometimes, they cause an issue. See below.

Four – more recently, my boyfriend has started Ramadan. I have to state here that I fully respect his religion and his choice. I am amazed at what he is doing and am proud of him for doing it. The issue is, I had no idea how much it would affect his general mood and behaviour. He’s exhausted, most of the time. He’s sleeping in odd patterns. He’s quiet and grumpy. And for an anxious person like myself, far too many erroneous conclusions have been jumped to which have caused problems.

Take yesterday. Relatively good day communicating. Usual laughing and joking. Regular contact. All good.

But then, his last call of the day (which has been occurring just after his first meal of the day when he breaks his fast) went wrong. Typically the call doesn’t last too long. He eats, he gets drowsy, he falls asleep. I can cope with that. I understand. Occasionally though, that short time between the start of the call and him getting drowsy is filled with… Nothing. He’s silent. He’s staring into space.

I need to state a fact here: he is the silence filler. He’s the one that cracks jokes, makes me laugh, fills the void. I am pretty useless. I try to make conversation, but go back to point three. By this time, there isn’t much to talk about. If we were together, no doubt we would just cuddle together, watch TV, content in the physical connection and silence. It’s clear that’s what we want. But it’s very hard to achieve when you are staring into a phone. And have anxiety.

It doesn’t matter that he has told me before – more than once – that his silence isn’t to do with me. Sometimes, he’s just in one of those moods. It doesn’t mean there is a problem or I have done something wrong.

So, the fact that I asked him what was wrong and he said ‘nothing’, should have been enough. The fact that he also said ‘it isn’t you’ should have been enough. Or even that he looked exhausted and we had a good day.

Oh no. Idiot here strikes again.

I made a comment. Something that has really hurt his feelings. I knew as soon as I said it that I shouldn’t have. I didn’t even mean it. It was born of frustration and missing him and childish selfishness and anxiety. I did wrong, not him. I own that. I’ve apologised, profusely… explained myself.

My boyfriend is amazing in a multitude of ways. If he upsets me, he is apologetic and caring. He won’t let me off the phone until he knows I’m OK. He owns his mistakes. If I am upset because of my anxiety or a perceived (and often imaginary) problem, he is equally caring and patient. He talks me through, settles me. Leads my thinking into a better place.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said the other way round. If I upset him, he sulks. It takes time for him to come down from that – I, on the other hand am notoriously volcanic: I erupt, behave badly, quickly realise, apologise and forgive. Move on.

I will state again, this is my fault. I have taken a time where he just wants to be in my company and I have cheapened it and thrown it back in his face.

But. I have apologised. I have tried to explain.

He has said I did nothing wrong – we both know I did. His behaviour has changed accordingly so I know full well he is still hurt.

He’s not ghosting me. He’s still in contact, still answering calls and texting. But he is sulking.

If the past is anything to go by, he will slowly and surely come round. I will need to be patient and positive – like he is with me. Each day things will return to normal until it is forgotten.

Time will tell though. Six months in, we are experiencing each other’s flaws and working out if we can accept them. I know full well you can’t change them.

Mark Manson talks about China plates. That a big problem in a relationship is like dropping a plate. It breaks in two. But with hard work and determination, you can fix it. It may be a little weaker than before, but in time you will not notice that weakness and it will not impede on its use.

But break that plate two or three times and you have problems.

I don’t know if we’ve broken the plate. I don’t know if it’s just a chip – something you accept and get used to and eventually ignore. It might even have shattered and we are both trying, and maybe failing, to put it back together.

I don’t believe it is the last one. But one day it might be. One day, my stupid mouth and even stupider insecurity is going to smash that plate. Or maybe, his post-stupidity behaviour might cause me to smash that plate like an enthusiastic Greek.

I’m calmer than the last time he behaved like this. I was tempted to tell him, since I’ve apologised, to get back in contact when he’s forgiven me. But only for a second. I’m being patient, like he is with me. I was the one in the wrong and I hurt him. Yes, he’s being childish. Yes, despite telling me there is no problem, he is behaving otherwise and he is not in the right mood to discuss it.

So, be it a scratch, a chip, a break or a smash… Watch this space.

Patience and understanding

My mood is very much like the weather at the moment. Beautiful blue sky meet dark clouds.

I’m terms of the amount of contact yesterday, Wild Card called me as normal (apart from the late call in the morning). Our videochats lasted as long as normal. He however, is still not.

I think to myself: he would not call and stay on the phone unless he wanted to see me and be with me. He has no need to prolong this relationship if unhappy. There is no shortage of women interested in him. I try to stay positive and jovial even. Whatever his problem is, I don’t want to add to it anymore. He said I’ve done nothing wrong and it isn’t me, so I have to believe him.

Last night’s last call was a little more typical. He actually cracked some jokes and made me laugh for a while. I actually felt quite emotional… Like he was coming back to me.

But the affection is still missing from his calls. I don’t know if he’s just not feeling it, or he’s trying to prove a point. (And irrational brain wonders if he has met someone else or he’s trying to pull away but we are ignoring irrational brain at the moment.)

In the end, who knows? Only him. There’s nothing I can do but trust he will tell me if I have annoyed him, which he usually does, and try to be supportive and positive.

Last night I tried to research Ramadan and its effects a little more and there is evidence that it affects mood and behaviour. He’s definitely not his cheery self but as he is still making contact, I have to believe that is what it is.

Today he has called as normal – on the way to work and on the way home and as he shopped. Parts of our conversation almost felt like normal. I also spoke to his mother again – he would not have me in the car with her, or speaking to her, if he was pulling away from our relationship.

So, patience, understanding and logical thinking is the order of the day.